In such uncertain and unprecedented times, it can often be difficult to keep up productivity. With so many temptations around us like Netflix, social media, and our beds (mid-morning nap, anyone?), keeping a productive mindset in the comfort of our homes can feel like a battlefield. With a few adjustments, though, it’s possible to be just as productive – if not more – during the lockdown. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you do just that.
Get dressed and do your hair, even when you’re not going anywhere.
Whether you’re working from home, on furlough, or you’re currently unable to work, getting dressed as you would normally and making an effort with your appearance can do miracles for your productivity levels. Not only will you feel more awake and better about yourself, but your mood and attention levels will be boosted. This one’s scientifically backed!
If you’re working, stick to your normal working hours.
When working from home, it can be easy to get distracted and fall into a pattern of procrastination and unproductivity. The trick to combat this is simple – just stick to your usual routine. Dedicate a space in your home to work, and work only, and ensure you keep your usual working hours. When you close your laptop for the day, you can relax on the sofa and enjoy all the home comforts that you usually would.
Related article: 10 Ways to Improve Your Productivity
Tackle the toughest tasks first.
If you’ve ever read anything related to successful people and “how they do it”, you’ve probably also read that you should always do the hardest tasks first, leaving the easier ones until last. And, when you think about it, it does make a lot of sense. If you’re working from home and you keep putting off that important task that you know will be tough, chances are it’ll bring a negative energy – and a sense of dread - to your entire day. If you tackle it first thing, however, you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders and you’ll be productive for the whole day because every other task will feel like a doddle.
Related product: Productive AF! Pad
Incorporate light exercise into your day.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not impossible to squeeze a good workout into your day at home. There are plenty of workout videos on YouTube to follow, and fitness instructors from across the country have gone digital, taking their classes online to the new lockdown craze that is Zoom to ensure their clients still get their fix. Even if it’s just a quick ten-minute routine before you start your working day, there’s no denying that exercise is a fantastic mood booster and essential for strong productivity.
Turn off the technological temptations.
This can be a tricky one, especially if you spend your days working from a computer. Nevertheless, we can all relate to the niggling temptation we feel to have a ‘quick scroll’ through social media when our phone is on the desk next to us while we’re working. It’s never a quick one, though, is it? Next thing we know, we’ve been mindlessly scrolling for twenty minutes and have totally lost track of work. The key to this is to switch off your phone, or keep it in another room away from your workspace. You’ll quickly notice how such a simple action can work wonders on your productivity levels.
Take short breaks often.
Research has shown that taking quick and regular breaks during important tasks helps you to maintain a steady performance level, compared to your productivity if you stick at one task for a long period of time without any breaks. Even if it’s just a case of going to your kitchen to make yourself a cup of tea, or taking a quick breather in your garden, you’ll return to your workspace feeling refreshed and ready to continue with the task at hand.
Make time for YOU – and go easy on yourself.
"Nobody is the same, lockdown is different for everyone."
Ultimately, the key to a happy-productive balance during lockdown is to ensure you take the time to do things that make you happy. In a time where you quite literally can’t leave your house, many people are feeling the pressure of trying to be the “best version of themselves” because they feel like they have no excuses not to. This is all well and good if you feel happy while you’re doing it. But if you find that you’re comparing yourself to others and feel like you’re not doing enough, it’ll take a negative toll on your mental health and you’ll soon feel the effects of burnout. When you’re not working, do whatever it is that makes you happy – because YOU DESERVE TO. Whether that’s laying on your sofa and binge-watching Netflix, FaceTiming your friends for hours at a time, or journaling until your hands ache, go for it. Nobody is the same, and lockdown is different for everyone. Plus, when it comes to your productivity when you are working, you’ll certainly feel the benefit.
Related product: Shine Bright Productivity Journal
By Lauren Davidson on behalf of Let's Talk Coaching.
Opinions expressed by Let's Talk Coaching contributors are their own.
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